Letters to Redmond
Readers' Letters: November 2011
Readers weigh in on the hot topics from the last issue.
"Jobs Satisfaction" (October 2011), Doug Barney's column on Steve Jobs, was great. He told it like it was. With Steve's recent passing, we see all the industry leaders publicly praising him. I think the competition was great for Apple and Microsoft. They needed each other to push each company to innovate and borrow and make things better -- and they did.
I use Windows and Mac and both have their merits and drawbacks. Each has its place, and while there is some crossover, sometimes one platform is better than the other. Even Linux has its place.
It's great to see the Windows side embracing the Mac side, as everyone can just get along and see different technology for what it is and use it where it works best.
Monterey Park, Calif.
Steve Jobs was a brilliant man -- a showman who knew how to make people want to buy his products, even at premium prices. He deserves quite a lot of credit for his vision, and for his marketing skills. Once the dust settles, the challenge for Apple will be to move forward without Jobs at the helm. It's unfortunate that the new iPhone 4S felt short of all the iPhone 5 hype.
Jobs' death, right on the heels of this disappointing announcement, combined with the CEO's statement about becoming more "evolutionary" with its product announcements, does not bode well for Apple.
Jobs succeeded by being a risk-taker. His successor apparently is not a risk-taker. He may not even be a major stockholder. For all his shortcomings, Steve Ballmer is Microsoft's second-largest stockholder. Like Jobs and Gates, Ballmer is fully invested in Microsoft's success. It's not clear Apple's new CEO has that kind of commitment to Apple -- or that kind of longevity.
C. Marc Wagner
Support for Windows XP?
In his September Barney's Rubble column, Doug Barney wrote about the coming end of Microsoft support for Windows XP, and asked readers: "What do you think about older versions losing support?"
In the semiconductor industry where I work, I support more than 50 Windows XP manufacturing tool controllers used to facilitate the final product testing of Logic modules. I've found that in a manufacturing environment, little changes unless it must. I still have five tool controllers running OS/2. While that OS is no longer supported, as long as the manufacturing equipment is still used, OS/2 will remain. So it will be with Windows XP. My biggest concern in either case is for the PC hardware itself.
Our manufacturing equipment and the OS will long outlive the PC hardware, but as PC hardware fails and is replaced, obtaining drivers for Windows XP will increasingly become a challenge. So, for the industrial computer, it may be the limitations of hardware longevity that encourage the move to Windows 7.
"Still supported" or "no longer supported" makes very little difference. My "support" has always come from friends or colleagues on Usenet or at work. And "vendor support" is, in my book, as much a myth as the universally recommended and utterly fictional "Windows installation disk" (not since the days of Windows 3.1 have I ever seen such a chimerical beastie).
Fred E.J. Linton
I think losing support for older OS versions is a push to get people moving forward and not staying in the past. IT is one area that shouldn't drag in the past and needs to advance: That's the nature of the IT world. Next thing you know, all your IT guys will be in love with Windows 7 and complaining about the new OS from Microsoft.
Windows XP won't die. Why should it? The thing just plain works!
People have a natural resistance to change. That tendency is amplified when the item you own isn't wearing out, and in many places, Windows XP just isn't worn out -- and won't be for some time! I love Windows 7: it's the best yet. But it's going to take a long time to move the installed base to it. Now they're talking Windows 8. Whoa boy! I think I may sit that one out! (I don't care for the "Metro style" front-end anyway).
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